Legendary Hall of Fame Miami Dolphins head coach Don Shula passed away today at age 90, peacefully at his home in Miami Lakes, FL. Shula is still currently the winningest head coach in NFL history with 328 regular season wins, 347 total wins.
In his illustrious 33-season career Shula amassed 2 championships in back-to-back seasons – 1972 and 1973 and was the head coach of the only team in history to have a perfect record of 17-0-0. Shula’s career started in 1960 as a defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions. Following a two-year stint with the Lions Shula accepted his first head coaching job for the Baltimore Colts from 1963-1969. In the seven seasons Shula coached Baltimore he recorded an impressive 71-23-4 record which averages to be a 75% winning percentage. Between the Colts and the Dolphins, in Shula’s first 13 years head coaching in the league he only lost 39 times (138-39-5 record).
Shula’s passing was felt around the league as the reaction from people throughout the NFL echoed that of a heartfelt sentiment.
The Miami Dolphins twitter account posted a message – “The Greatest”, and thanked Shula for what he had done for their franchise.
One half of one of the most electrifying QB/WR tandems Mark G Clayton posted on twitter – “I was sadden(ed) to hear this morning of the passing of the greatest coach in NFL history. My coach for 10 years. Coach Shula took a chance on me and the rest is history. My condolences to the family. Best coach on earth, best coach in heaven. RIP coach. – @MiamiDolphins
Prolific owner of the Dallas Cowboys released an official statement regarding Shula – “On behalf of our family and the Dallas Cowboys organization, we extend our deepest sympathies to the entire Shula family. We are so grateful for the relationship we have shared with Don and Mary Anne through so many years, and our support, friendship and admiration will be with her always moving forward.
Don was not just an iconic figure in the history of our game, he was an American institution who always represented the highest levels of character, leadership and integrity.”
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick released a statement of his own in part saying, “My first connection to Coach Shula was through my father, whose friendship with Coach Shula went back to their days in northeast Ohio. I extend my deepest condolences to the Shula family and the Dolphins organization.
There is no doubt that head coach Don Shula helped transform countless lives as well has leaving behind an amazing legacy. He will be missed by many. Don Shula – Jan 4th, 1930 – May 4th, 2020.